November 21, 2022

Your concealed carry weapon should enhance self-defense. But if you don’t follow best practices, you could endanger yourself and others. Find out the ten rules of gun safety for concealed carry.

1. Practice Your Draw

A concealed weapon that you can’t efficiently draw and fire won’t help you as it should. When disaster strikes, you don’t want to waste moments fumbling with your firearm. The less adept you are at using your gun, the less likely it is to help, and the more likely it is to become a problem.

No matter how accustomed you are to your holster, practice drawing your weapon. Wearing your holster in a consistent location on your body makes it easier to build up muscle memory, but you might sometimes have to vary your carry position. Any time you do this, practice drawing and firing from the new position, too.

2. Maintain Your Weapon

Like any tool, you must maintain your firearm to help ensure its reliability. Many failures to fire, feed, or eject result from neglecting to maintain the weapon.

When you always carry your gun, it’s more likely to get exposed to the elements and foreign objects that can impact its operation. Clean your gun following the manufacturer’s recommendations. In general, this entails removing residue buildup, ensuring that every mechanism works properly, and oiling the gun.

3. Keep the Muzzle Pointed in a Safe Direction

Always keep the front end of your gun in a safe direction, no matter your carry position. A safe direction means that if the gun goes off, the bullet won’t injure a person or animal or damage property. Remember that bullets can penetrate walls and ceilings.

With off-body carry, it’s crucial that you choose a holster that will keep your weapon securely in place. Carrying a gun loosely in a bag invites disaster. Use a concealed carry bag designed with a holster that prevents your weapon from sliding around freely. As a plus, these bags also have compartments for other equipment, such as spare magazines.

4. Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger

Another rule of gun safety for concealed carry is to keep your finger off the trigger unless you intend to shoot. Keep this rule in mind every time you handle your weapon, including when you pick it up. Hold your finger outside the trigger guard to prevent negligent discharge. Many people keep the safety “on” until they’re ready to fire, too.

If you don’t make proper form a habit, you are putting yourself and others at risk. For example, if you’re carrying your gun around and fall with your finger inside the guard, your hand might automatically close onto the trigger. The safest play is to stay off the trigger unless you’ve reached the end of the road and mean business.

5. Get a Permit if Needed

The laws for concealed firearm carry vary significantly between states. Before you carry concealed, research your state’s requirements. Even if your state doesn’t require a permit, you might want to get one anyways, as reciprocity agreements between other states and yours can allow you to carry when you travel.

If you live in a state that offers permitless carry, also called Constitutional carry, you can legally carry an open or concealed firearm without applying for a permit if you are eligible to own a gun in that state. On the other hand, permit-only states forbid concealed carry without a permit. To earn your permit, states usually require you to fill out an application, take an approved education course, and demonstrate gun handling proficiency.

6. Follow Safety Rules Regarding Ammo

The NRA advises gun owners to always keep their gun unloaded until it’s ready for use. However, in some states, you are permitted to carry your concealed weapon loaded. This is a divisive issue, but whether you carry loaded or unloaded, you need to make safety your top consideration.

If you carry an unloaded weapon, your practice routine should include loading the weapon efficiently. In an emergency, you’ll be glad to have this skill built into your muscle memory. For many people, the delay is worth the peace of mind.

If you carry a round in the chamber, it’s critical to have a holster that fits your firearm perfectly and covers the trigger guard. You must ensure you never inadvertently squeeze the trigger, such as before you’ve cleared the muzzle from your body as you draw. Know how to safely holster, carry, and draw your weapon, and ensure you always follow safety guidelines.

7. Keep Your Head Clear

When you always have your weapon close at hand, it’s critical to keep a clear head. Some states prohibit the consumption of alcohol while you carry. Many states prohibit concealed carry if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Know your state laws and follow them. And keep in mind that mind-altering substances slow your reaction time and impede your judgment. You do not want your gun to become a safety issue, so carry responsibly.

8. Know Your Target and What’s Beyond It

Just because you hit your target doesn’t mean the bullet won’t continue to travel. Stay aware of your target and your surroundings. Factors that influence trajectory include air resistance, the angle of your gun, the bullet’s velocity, and its shape.

Do not fire at a body of water or a hard, flat surface. Before you pull the trigger, know where your shot will stop. Also, keep in mind what the bullet might strike if you miss the target, or if the bullet ricochets.

Increase your situational awareness whenever you carry. You should strategically position yourself to increase the amount of range you can observe. Minimize distractions, such as electronic devices, so that you can observe your surroundings and identify potential threats.

9. Prevent Unauthorized Access

Just like when you keep your gun in storage, you don’t want unauthorized people to gain access to your weapon. If you’re doing off-body carry, always keep your CCW bag near you and away from others.

Your holster position and the presence of a retention mechanism decrease the likelihood of someone taking your gun when you carry it concealed on your body. Keeping your gun hidden makes it less likely that someone will know you have a gun, minimizing the risk that someone will try to disarm you.

10. Carry Discreetly

Keeping your weapon hidden until you need to use it can improve your safety for yourself and others. Aside from preventing unauthorized access to your weapon, aggressors won’t perceive you as a threat in the same way they would if they knew about your weapon. In addition, carrying discreetly can also prevent general unwanted attention from coming your way.

Discreet carry gives you the chance to try to de-escalate a troubling situation before you pull out your weapon. While you are prepared to use your gun, you want to try secondary defense measures before relying on your firearm to solve the problem. Carrying discreetly can make it more likely for secondary measures to work effectively.

Elite Survival Systems is your premier tactical gear store. When it comes to carrying a concealed weapon, you must use a holster that fits your gun, keeps it secure, and facilitates your smooth access to the firearm. Find your holster with us today.

The information on this website does not constitute legal advice. Instead, this content is for general informational purposes only. The information in this blog might not have the most up-to-date legal or other information. Always follow federal, state, and local laws regarding gun ownership and use.

10 Rules of Gun Safety for Concealed Carry



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